HC Deb 28 November 1950 vol 481 cc128-9W
88. Mr. Nally

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has studied the circumstances in which certain merchants bought up supplies of certain non-utility and rayon fabrics in anticipation that such fabrics would be included in a higher price category as a consequence of developments in the utility scheme; and what action he has taken or proposes to take to prevent the merchants concerned from securing additional profits as a result of these transactions.

Mr. Rhodes

I am not clear what transactions my hon. Friend has in mind, but if he will send me particulars I shall be pleased to look into them. Maximum prices for utility cotton and rayon cloths are, of course, laid down in Orders made by the Board of Trade.

89. Mr. Nally

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a full statement as to the investigations made by his officers since the beginning of 1950 into the circumstances in which certain traders have priced up existing stocks to newly fixed price levels; and what liaison exists between his Department and the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to ensure that the inflated profits made as a consequence of the transactions at the higher rate are properly assessed for taxation purposes.

Mr. Rhodes

We have so far had few complaints and little evidence of this practice except in relation to knitting wool, on which I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on the 23rd November to my hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mrs. Mann). If, however, we find other cases where there may be a need for protecting consumers by the introduction, or reintroduction, of price control we shall certainly make full investigation through the agency of the price inspectors attached to the Price Regulations Committees. As regards taxation, I understand that the full profits made on the sale of any such stocks would have to be shown in the trader's accounts, and would fall to be taxed in the ordinary way without any special arrangement.